Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Only connect? Older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults and social capital

  • ANN CRONIN (a1) and ANDREW KING (a2)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

The concept of social capital is widely used in the social sciences and has, to an extent, been applied to the lives and social networks of older lesbian, gay and bisexual (hereafter LGB) adults. Developing existing research, this paper argues that while not without its problems, the concept of social capital enriches our understanding of these networks, whilst simultaneously deconstructing the negative stereotypes surrounding homosexuality in later life. However, little attention has been paid to the social factors that mediate access and participation in lesbian and gay communities and the implications of this on the quality and experience of later life. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in the United Kingdom, this paper illustrates how biography, gender and socio-economic status are significant mediators in the development and maintenance of social capital by older LGB adults. It concludes with a set of recommendations aimed at improving the social capital of older LGB adults, together with the importance of ‘queering’ the concept itself.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Andrew King, School of Social Science, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. E-mail: a.king@kingston.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. Bell and J. Binnie 2004. Authenticating queer space: citizenship, urbanism and governance. Urban Studies, 41, 9, 1807–20.

A. Bryman 2004. Social Research Methods. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

C. Campbell and C. McLean 2002. Ethnic identities, social capital and health inequalities: factors shaping African-Caribbean participation in local community networks in the UK. Social Science and Medicine, 55, 4, 643–57.

A. Cronin and A. King 2010b. Power, inequality and identification: exploring diversity and intersectionality amongst older LGB adults. Sociology, 44, 5: 876892

R. Dorfman , K. Walters , P. Burke , L. Hardin , T. Karanik and J. Raphael 1995. Old, sad and alone: the myth of the aging homosexual. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 24, 1/2, 2944.

B. Edwards and M. W. Foley 1998. Civil society and social capital beyond Putnam. American Behavioral Scientist, 42, 1, 124–39.

J. Fish 2006. Heterosexism in Health and Social Care. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK.

T. Fokkema and L. Kuyper 2009. The relation between social embeddedness and loneliness among older lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the Netherlands. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 2, 264–75.

A. H. Grossman , A. R. D'Augelli and E. A. Dragowski 2007. Care giving and care receiving among older lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 18, 3/4, 1538.

K. M. Hash and F. E. Netting 2009. It takes a community: older lesbians meeting social and care needs. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 21, 4, 326–42.

B. Heaphy 2009. The storied, complex lives of older GLBT adults: choices and its limits in older lesbian and gay narratives of relational life. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 5, 1-2, 119–38.

M. Kehoe 1991. Loneliness and the aging homosexual: is pet therapy the answer? Journal of Homosexuality, 20, 3/4, 137–41.

J. Langley 2001. Developing anti-oppressive empowering social work practice with older lesbian women and gay men. British Journal of Social Work, 31, 917–32.

M. Molyneux 2002. Gender and the silences of social capital: lessons from Latin America. Development and Change, 33, 2, 167–88.

A. Portes 1998. Social capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1, 124.

E. Price 2005. All but invisible: older gay men and lesbians. Nursing Older People, 17, 4, 1618.

R. D. Putnam 1995. Bowling alone: America's declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 6, 1, 6578.

C. A. Richard and A. H. Brown 2006. Configurations of informal social support among older lesbians. Journal of Women & Aging, 18, 4, 4965.

R. Shippy , M. Cantor and M. Brennan 2004. Social networks of aging gay men. The Journal of Men's Studies, 13, 1, 107–20.

J. S. Sullivan , E. Borgida , M. S. Jackson , E. Riedel , A. Oxendine and A. Gangl 2002. Social capital and community electronic networks, for-profit versus for-community. American Behavioral Scientist, 45, 5, 868–86.

J. Weeks , B. Heaphy and C. Donovan 2001. Same-sex Intimacies: Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments. Routledge, London.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 12
Total number of PDF views: 89 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 800 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.